The Daily Rundown | October 30, 2012
>>> calendar says election is a week away. the reality is that neither candidate for president may hit the campaign trail for good for another couple of days leaving precious little time to persuade voters in this ridiculously close election . with the campaign largely on hold, president obama 's hunkered down at the white house , that's what he did monday. and he prepared the nation for what could be sandy's long lasting impact.
>> public needs to prepare for the fact this is going to take a long time for us to clean up. the good news is, we will clean up, and we will get through this.
>> that was before it hit, clearly that's what's going to be the case. this is going to be a long cleanup, days, perhaps stretches into longer than a week. the president insisted, though, the campaign was not on his mind right now.
>> i'm worried about the impact on families and i'm worried about the impact on our first responders. i'm worried about the impact on our economy. and on transportation. the election will take care of itself next week.
>> meanwhile, governor romney tried to walk the fine line , balancing campaigning still in ohio and iowa, but also compassion from storm victims in ohio . he appealed to put politics aside.
>> we've faced these kind of challenges before, and it's interesting to see how americans come together. and this looks like another time we need to come together all across the country, even here in ohio .
>> still, romney did not entirely put aside his campaign talking point.
>> early voting has begun. get out there and vote, i see a voter right there. get out and vote, i know your vote counts just as much as if cast on election day as if it's cast early. but all the media follows how much early voting is going on and they look at your zip code and where you live and make an estimate of whether you're a republican or democrat and they decide whether we're ahead or falling behind.
>> not always that you hear the candidate themselves talk about the literal issue of why early voting matters to political coverage. anyway. sometimes he's very literal. both candidates canceled campaign events today. mitt romney planned to spend the day in new hampshire, instead romney is going to hold what his campaign is calling a storm relief event. it's taking place in ohio . paul ryan will drop by campaign offices in hudson and lacrosse, wisconsin. joe biden and bill clinton are also on the stump for president obama . let's bring in our panel, former rnc chairman michael steele , former democratic senator blanche lincoln , and washington bureau chief susan page . susan, let me start with you. disaster politics. it's a fact of life. it's what can re-elect or unelect governors, but now it's potentially impacting the presidential race . any idea how this is going to impact?
>> if you want to look at an opportunity for president, look at " morning joe ," governor christie of new jersey, saying the president and fema are doing an outstanding job. i mean, that's the upside, potential political upside for a president. obama is not out there on the campaign trail like any candidate. he's in the situation room, being briefed overnight.
>> right. this is an opportunity for him to be the president, to be the commander in chief, to make that case. if there's a problem with fema's response, if there's a glitch that develops, but i think a big potential here for president obama in this very, very close race.
>> senator lincoln, it's interesting to see when does the president get back on the campaign trail? you would assume new york city looks like it's -- and long island just devastated. under any circumstance that seems to call for a presidential visit at some point. you've got to assume that's going to happen in the next few days.
>> i think so. and i think that susan's right. he's got a great opportunity. without a doubt for any credibility either candidate has got to kind of slow down and, you know, put the campaign on hold and really focus on what's happened to the people who have suffered. and i think that's exactly what they're doing.
>> mitt romney today, michael steele holding this relief event, it's in ohio , so it's not, you know, you can't separate the politics from it. i was on one hand i get it, on the other hand, you're like, boy, it's ohio , you're walking a tricky line. got to be everything he says is one of those things because he's in a no -- he's got nothing to do.
>> nothing to do, and he should have very little to say, quite honestly. this is probably a photo op mostly for the local community , politically speaking, it's not for national consumption. the president commands that stage. i think for the president, a lot of it's baked in for him, it's expected he does this well. . . and gets on top of them. you're right, the reality for him is he could wind up fumbling the ball. that's not happened so far. the president is in the driver's seat here. romney 's taken that second stage off in the corner, he's still in a very important state for his campaign and he's got the visual going in front of those voters.
>> when i come back, i want to talk about a couple of things involved with the campaign, including the fact that, guess what? we may not have polling for a week. . our panel is sticking with me. we'll be right back. more stills of this disaster as we go to break. i was in the ambulance and i was told to call my next of kin. at 33 years